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The Papacy - A Historical Perspective

1503-1521 A.D.

Pius III : 1503 A.D.

215. Born in Siena. Elected October 8,1503 - died October 18, 1503.

He accepted the elections after many pressures, because of his precarious state of health.

During the crowning, his gout forced him to say Mass sitting down.

He could not do much given the brevity of his pontificate, only 15 days. He was buried in San Andrea della Valle.

Julius II : 1503-1513 A.D.  [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

216. Born in Savona. Elected November 26, 1503 - died February 21, 1513.

He fostered art and studies and made Rome become magnificent with the contribution provided by Raffaello and Michelangelo.

He called the 18th Ecumenical Council.

He completed the building of the Basilica of St. Peter, the biggest of the world.

On April 18th 1506 he blessed and laid the foundation stone of the new St. Peter's, in a very deep hole dug where one of the 4 columns supporting the cupola was to be placed and also deposited in it an urn containing 12 coins among which two golden coins created for this event.

He renewed the use of beard for popes, making it grow when he was already old.

Before Julius we heard no news about the fact that the bodies of popes were opened and embalmed.

Julius was the first: the last was Leo XIII.

Julius institutionalised the Swiss Guards.

The uniform with yellow and red stripes, (the colours of Rome) was designed by Michelangelo and was definitively adopted byPaul III in 1548.

He was buried in the Basilica of St. Peter. His pontificate lasted about 9 years and 4 months.

Leo X : 1513-1521 A.D.  [For the seldom mentioned activities of this Pope - Click Here]

217. Born in Florence. Elected March 19, 1513 - died December 1st 1521

He did not care about and did not know how to solve the serious schism caused by the former Augustinian monk Marin Luther, who married a former nun, Caterina Bora.

He set up a censorship office concerning the printing of books, from which the Index was originated (the list of forbidden books to Catholics ).

He went ahead with the building of the new St. Peter's and made Raffaello paint the famous loggias in the Vatican.

He was the founder of the Vatican Chapel of Cantors and was the creator and founder of the Institute of Antiquity and Fine Arts, having written a Breve about the conservation of the latter.

He created the pawnshops and laws on pawn offices.

He was buried in the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. His pontificate lasted about 8 years and 9 months.

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